Elf Lyons Q&A – Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Edinburgh, the Fringe, why bother?

 The four hour train journey up there is really fun. Especially if you book it far enough in advance and you get a 1st class seat which means you can drink free gin as you go past the East coast. You feel like a drunk Harry Potter on their way to Azkaban…. I mean… Hogwarts.

I don’t really know why we all do it to be honest. I used to go on family holidays once… I used to have friends who did normal jobs…. I used to spend summer days barbecuing in the park…. now each of my Augusts are spent spending hours in dark over heated lecture halls-cum-performance spaces watching people perform their dreams or childhood traumas.

I love it.

What have been the nuggets of inspiration behind your show this year?

This year’s show is my concept album show. I’m sailing close to the wind with this one.

Usually I do niche geeky shows about things I know really well, Like the London Underground and Sci-Fi films. This year I am doing a stand-up show about my mother – who I ALSO know really well – but who is ALSO a person – thus more likely to get offended and upset by the show  – unlike the London Underground* or Sci-Fi cinema who didn’t get offended at all.

* They didn’t realise I’d done a show.

Stand-out Fringe moment to date?

I got kissed at the bottom of the big ferris wheel once and that was pretty romantic. I should probably say it was the TOP of the ferris wheel because that would sound better, but I have a phobia of heights and was starting to get really nervous about being in a small swinging metal box, so they kissed me at the bottom of the ferris wheel instead so I could really focus and ‘be in the moment’.

Also –  The Lee Miller and Picasso exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery last year was genuinely one of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen.

When you wished a hole had opened up in the ground and swallowed you up?

That moment when I couldn’t think of a quick and good enough excuse to say to a performer that I really didn’t want to see their one-woman acapella performance of Jane Eyre and instead I said “I really don’t want to see your one-woman acapella performance of Jane Eyre”.

She then got really upset.

I then went and bought my ticket to see the one woman acapella performance of Jane Eyre.

Your unsung heroes in the industry at current? 

There are loads of Gaulier students who will be at the fringe who are creating loads of innovative theatre and comedy.

Also – just finished working with DUCKIE at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and there are so many brilliant LGBTQI+ performers who are making and developing live work that is funny, political and refreshing which deserves a bigger audience. Calvin Decline and Manly Stanly are two drag kings that you should look out for.

Basically, just go and see more experimental stuff.

Three shows you must see this Fringe? 

John Luke Roberts is building a monster.


Elf Lyons: Pelican at The Voodoo Rooms: French Quarter 6th-29th August, 7.50pm. 

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